A DISPUTED LIEN.
Before hie Honor Judge Ward on Tuesday, in the Christchurch District Court, the case of Fried! ander Bros. v. Roberts was heard.
The plaintiffs, for whom Mr. Joynt appeared, sought to recover the sum of L 73 4s Id from George Roberts of Christchurch, as being due on an agricultural lieu. Mr. Loughrey was for the defendant. Mr. Joynt having stated the case, showing that the lien had been given by one Quigley, on June 13, 1879, specified also ths grounds of defence, which were that the plaintiff’s did not bond fide make an advance to Quigley, that the defendants entered into an agreement with Cooper Brothers to lease the land to them under a purchasing clause, their interest being taken up by Quigley ; that defendants had expended in harvesting the crop, and had due to them as rent from Quigley a sum exceeding amount realised by sale of crop, L3l Is 6d ; that Quigley became bankrupt, and that the Trustee did not take over the agreement within the time specified by the Act. Hugo Friedlander, identified the document produced as a lien given for goods supplied previously. A bailiff took possession of the crop, and Mr. Roberts said to witness he had sold the grain to Mr Turner, but had not been paid. The grain was carted away under protest, Quigley continuing after his bankruptcy to occupy the land. Could not say if some of the goods were supplied before Quigley entered on possession of the land. The account commenced on June 4, 1879. Quigley gave a promissory note on demand on June 5, to pay off the old account of L9O. On a question as to the lien, His Honor said that, while the lion might be void so far as other creditors were concenred, it might be right enough between the parties, and the man, in assigning his crop, assigned the right of entry to secure it. Witness resumed—That when he went to seize the crops, Quigley was in possession of the land. After seizure, witness received a letter referring to a claim on the crops. Charles Branson, assistant clerk to the Bench, Ashburton, deponed that he took possession of a crop for Friedlander Bros. Quigley was living on the land, and did not produce any letter or document.
J. D. Ireland deponed that under instructions he entered on Quigley’s land on March 4th last, and seized the crops. Quigley claimed the crops, saying that he had taken away a certain quantity, and would persist in the removal. Witness was shown a letter dated Mach 6th, in which Mr. Roberts authorised Quigley to send. the the crops away, and he (Mr. Roberts) would hold him harmless. Witness protested against the removal, followed the grain to the Chortsey railway station, and complained to the stationmaster.
In further cross-examination, Hugo Friedlander said he could not swear whether or not he gave Quigley a cheque for L 127 4s. lid. and took it back immediately. His Honor (to witness) —It’s pretty clear why you don’t care to produce your account books, if they contain records of such transaction as that.
James Quigley, farmer, deponed, that he held from Mr. Roberts a section in Ashburton. Had dealings with Friedlander Bros, before becoming Mr. Roberts’ tenant, for two or three years, the account generally running on. At the commencement of the tenancy witness owed Friedlander Bros. Ll2O odd, and they proposed that he should give them a lien as security for the debt. Witness also gave them an order on the Road Board to cover the past debt. Friedlander gave witness a cheque at the time of the lien being agreed upon. Witness endorsed the cheque as told, and gave it back again. Friedlander had a writ out against witness at the time. Witness saw there was nothing for him to do but to file. Subsequently witness occupied the land by direction of Mr. Roberts, and whilst a bankrupt. Witness was to see to the land, and that everything was right, Roberts telling him that he would give him the land back. Had since received payment for taking care of the place. At the time of giving the lien witness owed money to others. Mr. Joynt would fully admit that the witness was in straightened circumstances. Witness continued—Ho believed his horses and cattle had been sold under a bill of sale.
To Mr. Joynt—Mr. Friedlander had obtained judgment against witness. There was no house on the land at the time, and witness had never formally given up possession, though he had understood that on filing he had lost all claim to the land. It was about a month after his bankruptcy that witness was told by Mr. Roberts to see to the fences, &c. Had commenced to cut, thresh, and deliver, and when the bailiff came witness went and told Mr. Roberts, who gave witness an order to go on with his work, and agreed to hold him harmless. Had received things from Mr. Roberts to put upon the land, and those things were what he meant by receiving compensation for looking after the place. Had, in point of fact, gone on working the land. To Mr. Loughrey —Mr. Roberts paid the expense. Mr. Roberts deposed that he was the proprietor of the land lately occupied by Quigley. On the bankruptcy of Quigley, the trustee did not give the required notice. Witness understood that the land was really in nobody’s possession. Witness put Quigley in possession some time between Oct. 12 and 30.
To His Honor—T. B. Craig was trustee in Quigley’s estate. To Mr. Loughrey—Witness was still in the same possession of the land as in October. The agreement between witness and Cooper Bros, was now produced (document put'in). Rent was paid once or twice during its currency, but its terms had not been carried into effect. Witness paid all the expenses connected with the harvesting of the crop. Knew of the lien given by Quigley through conversation with Friedlander. Witness had been away for six months previous to October. To Mr. Joynt—Quigley was in a sense—a servant with wages, no other arangement having since been come to. The sum of LIBO still remained in Mr. Turner’s hands.
T. B. Craig deposed that he accepted the trusteeship in Quigley’s estate, against which Fried lander had a claim (proof put in). There was no dividend. Witness explained why as trustee he did not undertake the risk of harvesting the crop, there being amongst other items liens to Messrs. Friedlander Bros, and Saunders, and rent due to Roberts.
Counsel having addressed the Court, His Honor reserved judgment.
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